August 12, 2012 (KHARTOUM) — President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir directed Sudanese negotiating team to not sign a peace deal with the South Sudan without ensuring it has the necessary official and popular support, Sudanese defence minister said on Sunday.
Minister Abdel Rahim Hussein was addressing the members of the parliament from South Kordofan and Blue Nile states in a briefing he organised at the defence ministry in Khartoum on Sunday reassuring that the government will keep them closely linked to the talks on the outstanding issues with South Sudan.
After the signing of a deal over oil transportation fees and financial arrangements, the two countries will discuss security arrangements, border demarcation, and border trade.
The people of the two troubled states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan plus the White Nile state are historically linked to the South Sudanese on the other side of the border. However the demarcation of common border raised their concern and fears.
"President (Omer) Al-Bashir told us to not be in rush to sign any agreement" and to take the needed time in the negotiations", Abdel Rahim said. He added that any deal on, the border issue will also be presented to the different institutions before to sign it.
The minister pointed out that the maps of Sudan’s border submitted by the government to the mediation are well documented. He added that maps of the African Union are identical with the Sudanese government maps except in 14 Miles area.
Sudan refuses a map prepared by the mediation to operationalise a demilitarised zone the two parties agreed to establish on the common border to put off cross border attacks by rebel groups from both sides.
Khartoum says the mediation team included the 14 Miles area in the buffer zone after a demand by the South Sudanese government to consider it as disputed area.
The mediation, since, repeated that the rejected map does not intend to demarcate the border but aims to determine the limits of the demilitarised area. But Sudan refuses such argument and demands to withdraw it from the buffer zone.
The African Union and the UN Security Council did not establish a new deadline. The regional and international bodies said determined to keep high pressure on the two sides to sign as soon as possible a lasting comprehensive deal on the unresolved issues.
A presidential summit between Omer Al-Bashir and Salva Kiir is planned to be held in September as the delegations from both countries will meet at the end of August.